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Preparing and practicing the presentation

  1. 1. 3.Preapring & Practicing the Presentation Business Presentation Skills Prepared by Ms Foram Patel
  2. 2. 1.How to deliver a successful and effective presentation? These days, public speaking and business presentations are often a key part of the recruitment and selection process, particularly in education, consultancy or marketing. Several companies require candidates to make presentations on subjects selected by the company with prior communication to the candidate or ask the candidate to pick a subject.
  3. 3. 2.Basic guidelines for designing your presentation:  List and prioritize the top three goals that you want to accomplish with your audience.  It is not enough just to talk at them. You may think you know what you want to accomplish in your presentation, but if you are not clear with yourself and others, it is very easy – too easy – for your audience to completely miss the point of your presentation.  For example, your goals may be for them to appreciate the accomplishments of your organization, learn how to use your services, etc. Again, the goals should be in terms of what you want to accomplish with your audience.
  4. 4.  Be really clear about who your audience is and about why is it important for them to be in the meeting.  Members of your audience will want to know right away why they were the ones chosen to be in your presentation. Be sure that your presentation makes this clear to them right away.  Be clear about the tone that you want to set for your presentation; for example, hopefulness, celebration, warning, teamwork, etc.  Consciously identifying the tone to yourself can help you cultivate that mood to your audience. Above all, keep your voice steady.  Any nervousness can be detected by the audience through your voice.
  5. 5. 3. How do you prepare for a big presentation?  Start with your key talking points – There is no point writing a full script or presentation until you know what points you want to hammer home. Then, you can stick with a standard format: (a) tell them what you are going to show them; (b) show them; and, (c) tell them what you just showed them.  Write a script – It lets you write everything out and start massaging the words the way you want. It also gives you a benchmark against which you can practice and refine things.  Do not get hung up on specific words – It is unlikely that missing or changing any one word will totally ruin your presentation, so do not worry about perfection. The only person that knows you “screwed up” is you.
  6. 6.  Find your speaking style – Over time with enough practice you can learn to speak and present in any style, but if you are in crunch mode and do not have enough time, just try and find your own speaking style. Find your groove. Try to make people see the practice you have put in, your enthusiasm and your confidence.  Practice in front of people –If you have not given a lot of presentations this will feel awkward but I it is better to get over those feelings now rather than when you are on stage. So practice in front of others.  But be careful about taking their advice, especially if the presentation is fast approaching. The risk is that you try to incorporate changes you are not really comfortable with, whether it is in the actual script or in your presentation style, and you end up causing more damage than good.  Given the opportunity you should seek expert help with your presentation, but be careful about how you take any advice, especially late in the game.
  7. 7.  Practice with distractions – It is great to sit in a bubble with no distractions whatsoever and practice. You need the quiet time to memorize things and get a feel for what you are doing. But also practice while distracted – be it by other sounds or visually because it makes you feel more confident that you can pull it off.  Practice piece by piece – It is quite helpful to practice each section of your presentation in pieces. Focus on one part, memorize the core elements, run through it till you are comfortable and then move to the next piece. Then it is just a matter of stringing the pieces together, which is easier.
  8. 8.  Think ahead – Think of the next 1 or 2 sentences while speaking. So when you are on sentence 5 your mind is already bringing up sentence 6 and 7. You need not think too far ahead but just enough that the transition from sentence-to-sentence is ultra-smooth and simple. Each sentence triggers a reminder for the next one.  Practice hand gestures – If you are giving a presentation with nothing in front of you like a table, then you need to be aware of what you are doing with your hands and your feet. So think about your hand gestures and how they relate to what you are saying. If you plan to move around, pace in sync with your words.  Find your comfort zone – All the advice in the world will not help if you cannot get comfortable with your preparation, practice techniques and ultimately, the presentation itself. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable. The more comfortable you feel, the more confident you feel, and the better things will go.
  9. 9. 4. Preparing for the Presentation:  Give yourself plenty of time – Whatever you do, do not wait until the last minute to start thinking about your presentation. As soon as you know you will be presenting, start making notes about all of the elements you want to cover.  Research your audience – Your audience should drive not only the content you present, but your approach as well. Find out who will be in the audience and tailor your presentation directly to them.  Identify your goals – Why are you presenting? Are you trying to win business? Are you sharing your expertise? Take time to identify your goal and keep it in mind as you develop your presentation.
  10. 10.  Know your time limit – Make sure you ask how long you will have to present. Knowing if you have 30 minutes, an hour or longer is vital before you start preparing your content.  Start with an outline – To make sure your presentation flows and covers all of the points you want to hit on, draft an outline. Break it down into sections to make it manageable in the development stage as well as the delivery.  Write it down – Once you have your outline, write down everything you want to say for each point. Think about the content from your audience’s point of view so you can balance the content with engagement.  Create visual aids – You will want some kind of visual aid to add to your presentation, but fight the temptation of including everything you wrote down on your slides. Keep it short and simple.
  11. 11.  Memorize it – Do not worry, you are not going to memorize and rehash your presentation. But, start by memorizing it anyway. Knowing the content inside and out will make you more comfortable and confident during the delivery.  Practice – Run through your presentation in full several times before the big day. You may even consider videotaping yourself so you can self-critique and fine-tune.  Get help – Sometimes an outside perspective can help you make sure you are hitting the mark. Ask a family member, colleague or even a public speaking coach for help. Not only can they help you perfect your presentation and delivery, but they can boost your confidence in your own presentation skills - vital for a memorable delivery.  Be a storyteller – People love stories, so the more anecdotal you are, the more memorable your presentation will be.
  12. 12.  Get there early – Not only do you want to be on time, but if you get there early, you can scope out the room where you will be presenting and start to familiarize yourself with the environment. You can also meet some of the people in the audience, which can help add a conversational tone.  Breathe – Take a deep breath before you start and remember to breathe during the presentation. You should pause frequently to give your words a chance to sink in and to give yourself a break.  Show your passion – Hopefully you are passionate about the subject matter. Let your enthusiasm come through in your delivery. It can be contagious and the perfect way to engage your audience.  Make it interactive – To prevent boredom for your audience, plan group activities, ask questions and work in a break, if appropriate.
  13. 13.  Use humor – Humor can be powerful in a presentation setting. Not only can it put the audience at ease, but it can make you more relaxed as well.  Plan time for questions – Make sure you leave time at the end of your presentation for a question and answer session. And it is always a good idea to build in a little buffer time in case you go over during the actual presentation.  Leave something behind – Handouts are a great way to drive home your message and give attendees something to refer to after they leave. Be sure to include your contact information and invite the audience to contact you with questions.
  14. 14. 5.Deliver Effective Presentation: Without good, clear communication your business will never be effective and efficient. It is plain and simple to understand. Your business will not succeed or last for long if you cannot get your message across to others. Here are some simple tips to help you craft your presentation skills effectively:  Structuring – Think of your presentation as a story and just like any story it needs a beginning, middle and an end. Structure the presentation around these three premises and clearly define all three as well. Try your best to provide your listeners with new information or put a new interpretation on existing information.
  15. 15.  Relevancy – What makes your presentation and more importantly, your message relevant to the audience? Do not let them decide if you are relevant; tell them you are. Throughout the presentation, focus on main message all times to tell your listeners why you are relevant.  Enthusiasm – If you are not enthusiastic about your presentation, then why should anybody else be? While, it is good to show some passion in your message, try not to get too carried away. There is not a quicker way to lose an audience than becoming too over-the-top.
  16. 16.  Practice – Do not expect to walk into that room and perform flawlessly without practicing over your presentation. It will never happen. In order to nail it and convince your audience that your position is the side to be on, you better know the presentation like the back of your hand. Know how in's and out's of any equipment you plan on using. Have a backup plan ready just in case there are any technical problems.  Know you subject – No one in that room should know more about your subject matter than you. There is no getting around this step. They may know the subject as well as you do, but that does not mean you should not know a unique spin on the topic. Get clear on what message you want to convey to your listeners.
  17. 17. 6. Practicing the Presentation:  Your goal should be to practice perfectly, not just practice. The more you do something, the more comfortable it feels – whether right or wrong.  So, we need to do it right when we practice our presentations. Knowing a subject does not guarantee success.  The ability to articulate the message and connect with audience members is what counts – and perfect practice can make this happen.  Visualizing is great, but it does not replace the actual out- loud practice.
  18. 18. 8 Guidelines for Presentation Practice:  Practice out loud  Practice with variety  Be aware of timing  Practice in front of a real audience, similar to your target audience  Incorporate spontaneous Q&A into your practice  Spend more time on the speech opening and closing  Practice your timing  Practice by recording yourself
  19. 19. 7. Practicing a presentation is a personal process and an experiment Here is a 8-step process for preparing to present: 1. Preparation begins with conceptualization 2. Internalize do not memorize 3. Present out loud 4. Present standing up 5. Present in the clothes you are going to wear 6. Time it 7. See where you are presenting 8. Visualize your success
  20. 20. 8. Why practice? Does that alone makes things perfect?  Practicing your speech is essential, but it is foolish to think that practice alone will result in a “that was the best speech I’ve ever heard” response from your audience.  For this, you need to master essential public speaking skills and build up experience doing so.  So, by practice you will not necessarily make you perfect, but you will reap significant benefits by practicing your speech at least a couple times:
  21. 21.  Discover awkward phrases and tongue-twisters that you did not notice when writing and editing. Speaking the words out loud exposes flaws that reading does not.  Gauge your energy level – Does delivering this speech fire you up? Or are you bored with it?  Gauge your timing – Once you get more experienced, you will learn how many words can fit in a 10-minute time slot. Until then, however, practicing the complete speech is the best way to know if you are under or over time.  Reduce nervousness – Rehearsing even one time will improve your confidence in your material.  Stand up – You get more realistic voice projection.
  22. 22.  Re-create the speech setting - Reading your speech at a desk (or from your computer screen) is not optimal unless you are preparing for a webcast. Try to duplicate the speech setting as much as you can.  Practice in the room where you will be speaking, if you can.  Rehearse with props and visual aids.  Arrange an audience. Practicing with an audience is better than practicing without one even if it is not your target audience.  Consider what you will wear when your speech will be delivered. Will it add complications? Inhibit gestures or movement in any way?
  23. 23.  Take notes – Do not hesitate to stop yourself in the middle of your rehearsal to jot down ideas as they come to you. Capture internal feelings immediately.  Experiment – Try out different voices, gestures, or staging. This is especially important for your opening, conclusion, and any other key points. Give yourself confidence knowing that these lines will be delivered precisely as you intended.  Time yourself – You can easily do this yourself, but it helps if someone else can time you. Insert planned pauses, and insert delays when you expect laughter or some other audience response. This may feel funny, but an accurate timing estimate will tell you if you need to do more editing.  Use all that you learn to edit your speech and make it better.

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